We Are Your Children Too: Black Students, White Supremacists, and the Battle for America’s Schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia

S. & S. Jan. 2023. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665901390.
Gr 5 Up–In this detailed account of educational inequity in Prince Edward County, VA, Pearson educates young readers on systemic racism in the US and the importance of access to public education. The account starts in 1951, when a Black high school student named Barbara Johns led a student protest against the unfair conditions at her school. Her protest started a movement in the county, and with support from the NAACP, the case against the school district became one of the five in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. the Board of Education. When ordered by the courts to desegregate their schools, the Prince Edward County school board voted to defund their public schools and instead provide public funding to vouchers for a white-only private school. For five years, Black students and many poor white students were not able to attend school. Pearson reflects on the negative impact this had on students’ futures, families, and community, and the lives of generations of students after. The epilogue discusses today’s young activists taking a stand on racism, education inequity during the COVID-19 school shutdown, and gun violence, emphasizing how young people can make positive change. Black-and-white photographs appear throughout; back matter includes a detailed index, time line, recommended reading, and glossary.
VERDICT Highly recommended for middle school collections.

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